Hardwax Oil and Staining

Two of the most popular finishes for wood floors are Lacquer (Varnish) and Oil (Hard Wax Oil)

Lacquers

Floors treated with a quality Lacquer are harder wearing and easier to maintain. There is a choice of High Gloss or Matt and the latest innovation is that some lacquers have the appearance of an oiled floor to make the wood look even more natural.

The disadvantage of Lacquer is that the Lacquer only covers the surface of the wood. Any damage to the lacquer with a sharp object will create a break in the protection and allow dirt and moisture into the wood, discolouring it regardless of maintenance. In fact cleaning it often makes it worse especially if using a damp cloth.

Once this discolouration occurs the only solution is to remove the damage by sanding the complete floor and apply a new finish. This is a specialist task which we at Heritage have years of experience with.

Hard Wax Oil

Applying Hard Wax Oil to your wood floor prevents moisture from entering into the wood while allowing it to ‘breath’, keeping the natural look and feel of the wood itself. Any damage can be easily repaired with some wax or maintenance oil without the need to sand the whole floor. The appearance of the finished wooden floor is Satin or Matt with the added advantage of making the floor look warmer and deeper in colour over the years.

An Oiled wooden floor does require more maintenance than a lacquered floor, however there are modern maintenance products that make it easy (we strongly advice to use a maintenance/cleaning products recommended of the manufacturer of the Hard Wax Oil finish that you are using for your floor).

Floors treated with oil based finishes will need to be re-oiled with another coat every 16 – 24 months for residential or 4 – 6 months for floors with commercial use, depending on how it is maintained. We have a range of Long Term Maintains Plans to care for your floor, please contact us for more details.

Staining

Any hardwood flooring can be stained to your request and there are a range of colours available. The most popular stain options include:

Natural looks almost like bare wood.

Light is a very popular shade of stain because it darkens the grain and adds a subtle tone to the wood. It often has a slight tan hue to it.

Medium is another popular choice. It’s darker than the light, so both the grain and the wood will have an obviously darker pigment, commonly a medium-brown hue.

Dark is usually a very dark brown and has a very rich feel.

A custom colour refers to any colour besides tan/brown/sand. Many home owners have chosen a bright red, deep green or even white stain with striking results.

Choosing your Stain

There are many different stain shades available and although colour charts are helpful, they are a guide and cannot describe the exact colour that you will get with your floor – what looks right printed on paper will almost always look different on its intended surface.

Also, different types of hardwood floors will look different with the same stain, so consideration should be given to the wood species. Stain will also look a little different on refinished flooring rather than on newly installed wood, proper sanding will help it accept the stain better.

The best option in choosing what stain you would like is to choose a colour when it is on the actual floor. When we sand down your floor to bare wood and before giving it its final fine sanding we will stain a several spots with your chosen stain so you will be able to see how the stain will look on your floor. Bear also in mind that applying the finish Oil or Lacquer will also slightly change the colour as well as a sheen or matt finish depending on your choice. We have wide experience with this and will assist as far as we possibly can.

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